Whether you want to develop your marketing strategy or a specific product or service, it’s essential to know if it will sit well with the people you intend it for. This means you have to be sure it’s landing with your ideal clients and to know that, you have to do some market research.

There are two significant ways to go about researching this: asking in a poll, questionnaire, or something similar, or asking specific people specific questions.

Asking in a poll or questionnaire can work for small, simple decisions where the outcome is not that important. It might even be great then to ask it in an Instagram Stories Poll, for instance, for a bit of extra engagement. However, when you are developing major strategies in your business, a questionnaire is not the way forward. Here is why:

  • People might react positive, even though they are not really interested
  • You miss the depth in their answers they give you
  • You can’t ask them a lot of questions, or no one will finish the questionnaire
  • You can’t ask followup questions

So when you want to make significant decisions, the best way to do research is to ask specific people questions.

Also read “Your Marketing Strategy in 3 steps“.

How to ask specific people the right questions

  1. Decide who your ideal client is – this might be even a bit more specific than your general target audience if it is for a particular product or service. Need some help coming up with your perfect client? Read ‘7 steps to completely understand your ideal client‘.
  2. Come up with your questions that fit with what you are trying to develop and the target audience. If you want to pick the best channels for your marketing strategy, do not ask “Are you on Facebook?” but “On which channel(s) do you spend the most time?” and/or “On which channels would you prefer to interact with brands about <fill in specific topic here>?”
  3. Find 5 of those ideal clients who are willing to have a short call with you. You can ask former or current clients if they fit the bill, you can post a ‘looking for’ post on social media or just send someone you think would be great an email.
  4. Have a call with each of the five people. Ask your questions that you made already but don’t forget to follow up. “How do you mean that?” “So if I hear what you are saying correctly, you want/feel/think …” “How would you feel about …?” “Tell me more about that”.
  5. Use these results to come up with the best way of doing things for your target audience.

Market research question ideas

When asking questions go from more general questions that are about them as a person to items that are more about your brand, without making it explicitly about you. Do not ask “Why would you buy from me?” or anything like it. Keep it open, light and authentic.

The examples below that are just that, examples. Don’t talk about rental vs buying a house if that does not fit what we are talking about. Make your own questions. These are just here to help you get going.

  • Do you live in a rental home or is it bought?
  • Are you married/divorced/windowed/never married?
  • On which channel(s) do you spend the most time?
  • When you started with <topic>, what were you thinking about?
  • What is the hardest part about <the problem you solve>? How does this make you feel?
  • What have you already tried?
  • What surprised you about <the problem or the solution>?
  • If you could change something about <the problem or the solution>, what would you change?
  • What is your favourite part about <topic>?
  • Where would you go to find information about <topic>?
  • What words would you use to find information about <topic>?
  • On which channels would you prefer to interact with brands about <fill in specific topic here>?
  • If you would want <specific product/service or niche>, what would be things you would want to know beforehand?
  • What would be a big no-no when buying <specific product/service or niche>?
  • What is vital for you about <topic of your business>?
  • Have you ever bought <specific product/service>? How did you feel about your purchase? What was missing from that purchase?
  • If you would buy <specific product>, what price range would you feel comfortable at?
  • What else would you want help with?
  • Thinking about <your brand name>, how would you describe it?

I would recommend, if they are ok with it, to record the call, because not only will the answers help you tremendously with developing your product or service, you will have the right words – the words your actual ideal client uses – to describe it as well. How is that for great input for your content?

How to do market research: Ask specific people the right questions